African Music Culture

Top 5 African Greatest Reggae Artists

Majek Fashek
Avatar of Abraham Odhiambo
Written by Abraham Odhiambo

We can all agree that reggae is one of the most loved genres of music in Africa. Over the years, reggae has become a household song in Motherland, with the greatest African reggae artists releasing classic tunes and gaining fame worldwide.

The majority of reggae songs preach peace while condemning vices such as corruption and murder. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the greatest African reggae artists the world has ever seen. There are quite a lot of them; however, we will only take a look at the five mentioned below.

1. Lucky Dube 

Lucky Dube is widely regarded as one of the greatest reggae musicians the world has ever seen. Born in South Africa in August 1967, Lucky Philip Dube started his first band named “The Skyway Band” with some of his friends. He then joined his cousin’s band which focused on Zulu pop music known as mbaqanga.

Lucky Dube

Lucky Dube is one of the greatest African reggae artists of all time. Photo/ NBC News.

Dube would later discover that people responded well to reggae songs he performed at events. Drawing motivation from reggae musicians such as Peter Tosh and Jimmy Cliff, Dube decided to fully venture into reggae music. During his 25 years as a reggae artist, Lucky Dube recorded 22 albums and won several musical awards. Lucky Dube, who was Africa’s best-selling reggae artist of all time, was murdered on the evening of 18 October 2007 in Johannesburg.

2. Alpha Blondy 

Born Seydou Kone, Alpha Blondy is one of the greatest African reggae artists of all time. The legendary Ivorian singer is known for his fight against racism and discrimination through songs such as Peace in Liberia and Apartheid Is Nazism.

Nicknamed “The Bob Marley of Africa” by his fans, Alpha Blondy released his first album titled Jah Glory in 1982. Many of his songs are politically and socially motivated. The 70-year-old sings in his native tongue, Dyula, and also in French, English, Hebrew and Arabic.

3. Tiken Jah Fakoly 

Doumbia Moussa Fakoly, better known by his stage name Tiken Jah Fakoly, is one of the greatest African reggae artists of all time. Jah Fakoly discovered reggae at an early age and soon became well-known at a regional level. He would soon ascend to national recognition and then begin making international tours.

Tiken Jah Fakoly

Tiken Jah Fakoly. Photo/ Afrik.

Over the years, Fakoly has recorded several singles and collaborations with other renowned musicians. The Ivorians used music to challenge injustices towards Africans. As a result, he received death threats which forced him to move to Bamako, Mali where he has been living since 2003.

4. Rocky Dawuni 

Rocky Dawuni is a reggae singer, songwriter and record producer from Africa. He is known for performing his signature ‘Afro Roots’ sound which is a mixture of Reggae, Afrobeat, Highlife and Soul music. He has so far recorded seven albums, including Branches of The Same Tree, which got nominated for Grammy’s Best Reggae Album.

Dawuni got the inspiration to start reggae after listing to a military band performing one of Bob Marley’s compositions in a military barrack where he grew up. The 54-year-old is a three-time Grammy-nominated musician and activist.

5. Majek Fashek 

Well, you can’t talk about the greatest African reggae artists and fail to mention Majek Fashek. Born Majekodunmi Fasheke, Majek Fashek was a singer, songwriter and guitarist from Nigeria who released several songs over the years.

Majek’s style of music was inspired by the legendary Bob Marley. Over the years, he worked with some of the biggest stars in the music industry, including Michael Jackson, Jimmy Cliff, Snoop Dogg and Beyonce. Majek Fashek died in his sleep on 1 June 2020 in New York City.

Majek Fashek

Majek Fashek. Photo/ The Guardian Nigeria.

Who Is The Best Reggae Man in Africa?

Lucky Dube is arguably Africa’s greatest-ever reggae musician.

Who Was The King of Reggae in Africa?

The legendary Luck Dube is often referred to as Africa’s reggae king.

Did Reggae Music Originate From Africa?

Though reggae music first developed in Jamaica, it has strong rhythmic associations with Africa and has been called “the quintessential African/ third world/black musical form”.

Who Is The Most Famous Reggae Singer?

No list of reggae artists would be complete without Bob Marley in the top spot. Marley’s contributions to music increased the visibility of Jamaican music worldwide, making him a global figure in popular culture.

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About the author

Avatar of Abraham Odhiambo

Abraham Odhiambo

Abraham Odhiambo is a writer with interests in nature, travel, African safari and sports. I'm pursuing a bachelor's degree in Media and Communication at Egerton University.

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